Every year as the ball drops and a new year begins, millions of Americans promise themselves they are going to start leading healthier lives. But why not get a head start now, and save on your healthcare spending at the same time?
Now is the time to check to see if you’ve met your health insurance deductible. The deductible is the amount you are responsible for before your insurance company starts paying the bill. Most plans reset to $0 at the beginning of the calendar year.
Most insurance plans begin paying the majority, if not all, of healthcare expenses once you’ve met your deductible. If you have met that amount, or are close to reaching it, now is the time to maximize your health benefits by scheduling appointments, tests or procedures you may not have gotten around to this year. You could save a substantial amount of money, depending on what type of healthcare you need, if you obtain it before the end of the year. A few tests or procedures to consider include a colonoscopy, mammogram, inpatient or outpatient surgery, diagnostic testing and lab work.
It is also important to remember if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, those funds do not roll over to the New Year. These types of accounts are based on a “use-it-or-lose-it” principle and if you have funds remaining in the account, the money is forfeited per Internal Revenue Service requirements.
On the contrary, if you have an individual Health Savings Account, those funds roll over and accumulate year to year if not spent.
The key to maximizing year-end cost savings is to schedule any appointments, testing or procedures to occur by December 31. It’s crucial to ensure any check-ups or procedures can be performed before the end of the year to be considered part of your 2016 coverage. When the New Year comes, so does a new deductible and FSA balance.
For more information on your deductible amount, please reach out to your insurance provider. For information on your healthcare options, contact your primary care physician or other specialty healthcare provider.
If you have any questions, please contact Lucrece Carter, Patient Access Director, at 606 638-7426 at Three Rivers Medical Center.